12 March 2010

The Debate Over American Exceptionalism

Rich Lowry recently wrote a worthwhile piece at National Review on the subject of American Exceptionalism titled: An Exceptional Debate. Here's a sample of what he's written:

"What do we, as American conservatives, want to conserve? The answer is simple: the pillars of American exceptionalism. Our country has always been exceptional. It is freer, more individualistic, more democratic, and more open and dynamic than any other nation on earth. These qualities are the bequest of our Founding and of our cultural heritage. They have always marked America as special, with a unique role and mission in the world: as a model of ordered liberty and self-government and as an exemplar of freedom and a vindicator of it, through persuasion when possible and force of arms when absolutely necessary . . . If our politics seems heated right now, that is because the central question before us is whether to abandon our traditional sense of ourselves as an exceptional nation." 

Lowry hits on some points that I intend to bring up in posts I've been promising for some time now - history and politics. It is absolutely ludicrous and absurd for some to suggest that American Exceptionalism should not be taught as an affirmative concept in our schools since we are teaching future generations. Do we not want them to promote America as "a model of ordered liberty and self-government and as an exemplar of freedom?" Evidently, some do not. 

Though I don't agree with all of Lowery's assertions and conclusions - for example, he gets some things wrong on Jefferson and Lincoln - the piece is still very much a worthwhile read. You can also listen to an interview with Lowery on this subject here. Lowry, by the way, is a native Virginian and graduated from UVA with degrees in English & history.

No comments: